Saturday, December 4, 2010
Joshua Watkins and I teamed up with Just Plain Ant for this track off of Joshua's Latest project I HOPE YOU LOVE ME. Ant emailed me the beat some time ago. I wrote the hook and gave Joshua a call. We went went back and forth for a couple of minutes about ideas. What he did with it is was genius in my opinion.
PAINFUL WEEKDAYS by Joshua Watkins Featuring Pearl Taylor's Grandbaby
Beat by Just Plain Ant
Just Plain Sounds
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Sunday, October 24, 2010
So...to start off this blog post by saying that it's been a while would be a little insulting to all of you. So instead, I'll bypass the whole introduction and say that outside of the commitment and love that I have for my own music and art, witnessing the growth and evolution of the music and art that emerges from this young man has been as rewarding to me. You know him. His name is Joshua Watkins...and I'll say it as simple and as poignantly as he: "I JUST HOPE YOU LOVE HIM".
Executive Producer: Carlton Mackey
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
2010 has been an amazing year. 17 DEGREES AIN'T NOTHING, a film by Dane Jefferson and me (Carlton Mackey) debuted last week on the big screen at Atlanta's Historic Plaza Theater as part of Wonderroot's Local Filmmaker's night.
This film brings to the forefront issues surrounding homelessness in Atlanta. It places the story of 5 local individuals in the context of a global conversation about the economy, the recession, and the real life impact of it. It is a glimpse into their lives and a peering into our own.
This film was scored from original musical contributions of 5 amazing local producers/musicians. The SOUNDTRACK from the film is available for download at the link below. We want you to listen to this music, share it with friends, chill to it, read, burn, relax, and everything else that is meant to be experienced alongside great music...BUT WE ALSO WANT YOU TO BUY IT.
BE AN ADVOCATE & SUPPORT LOCAL ARTISTS
50% of the Proceeds from the Sale of this album will go to the OPEN DOOR COMMUNITY -a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization proclaiming the Beloved Community through loving relationships with some of the most neglected and outcast of God’s children: the homeless and our sisters and brothers who are in prison.
(i.e. for every album that is downloaded for $10 online, $5 goes to the OPEN DOOR and only $1 goes to each of the 5 producers)
This is not a lot of money for either the artists or the organization, but every single purchase makes a difference. Help us make a difference.
Thank you for your support.
*17 DEGREES AIN'T NOTHING will be part of the Atlanta International Documentary Film Festival in August. Other screenings will be announced in the days to come. Thank you!
Friday, April 30, 2010
Shout out to Mike Gregoire! Since 2007 Mike has been compiling rare musical gems and presenting them to the world for free with his net label BlocSonic. Check out this latest free download called WHY YOU GET A RECORD DEAL??
My work has been featured on this site and I'm grateful to Mike for introducing me to Marco Kalnenek and Just Plain Ant. I have a lot of respect for both of these artists and have had the great fortune to collaborate with both.
It's Friday. What better way to get your weekend started than with some new music?
netBloc Volume 28 (Why You Get A Record Deal?)
Hip-Hop, Pop, Rock, Trip-Hop, Electro-pop and even some experimental goodness all brought together into a tasty collection. All to show you that there is an alternative to the mainstream product being pumped out to retail.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
I met Joshua Watkins on an elevator in November 2005. He was working with Facilities at Emory University. What he has reinforced in my life since that day forward is that you can never judge a book by its cover...that still waters run deep...and that one of the most powerful forces in the universe is unveiled when we are audacious enough to DREAM.
Shortly after meeting, Josh handed me a CD. "This is some stuff I've been working on. Tell me what you think about it," he said coyly. It was in a Jewel Slim Case and had 'Preacher of the Street' written on it in black sharpie. I asked him how much it was, and he said it was free. I told him to never say that again and slipped him a 10. I held on to it and promised to give it a listen.
The tocks ticked. I listened to his CD and was given a glimpse into the life of a young man who was striving to make sense of his world. It was a portrait of someone who, through religion and faith, was searching for a way to come to terms with the obstacles that life had thrown in front of him. It was the music of someone who was trying to find a way to balance the opposing forces of good and evil in their lives...and in the midst of it all, it exposed this same young man's raw talent.
The next time I saw him, I told him that I wanted to do something for him. I offered to do a photo shoot of him. I also said that I would design a cover for his CD so that "sharpie" wasn't the first thing that a person saw when he handed them his music.
But that ended up being only the beginning. Since 2005 I've been directly involved in all of Josh's projects. I had the pleasure of executive producing his CHASING DREAMS EP and helping conceptualize/oversee the DRAKE RETAKE Project. More importantly, I've developed a friendship that encompasses music but that also transcends it.
There are so many stories that I could tell. I called Josh this morning and told him that I was going to write a tell-all blog post about his life like VH-1 Behind the Music. It would contain more details about his life story, the obstacles he's overcome, our conversations, his work ethic, his humility, and how much both of us have grown since the elevator in 2005...but I figured that I should be generous and leave some material for VH-1.
Ladies and gentlemen this is Joshua Watkins. He is my friend. My mentee. I love him...and I think that if you give him a chance, you will too.
Listen to what he has to say:
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
My day just suddenly got better. I'm listening to the Euphoric sounds of Madeleine Bloom. My first time hearing Madeleine's sound was when I downloaded the Mercedes-Benz Mixed Tape Compilation - Green Tones. Being featured on this compilation was very exciting, but I was equally as excited to listen to the contributions of the other artists who would be featured. When I first heard Madeleine's track Euphoria I was taken aback by her songwriting abilities. The melodies were were impressive -though not overdone. The introductory chords offered mystery, and I knew I was in for a treat. BUT I wasn't prepared for the amazingly profound messages that she subtly slipped into what could be mistaken as very simple lyrics. The more songs I write, the more I realize now just how important and difficult this is to do.
The writers challenge is to present the profound in such a way that it feels simple...
Bloom's opening verse is:
this is so exciting
ever so exciting
can you smell it
it’s already in the air
i don’t know what’s gonna happen
i don’t know what’s coming next
but i take it on
a new challenge in life...
I knew then that I was along for the journey. Her album doesn't disappoint. Well, I haven't actually gotten through all of it. I just downloaded it 10 minutes ago. I was so captivated by the first couple of songs, that I just started writing.
You should download it too. Listen to it with me and let's talk about it.
Ladies and Gentleman, another great artist you've probably never heard of. The lovely Madeleine Bloom.
UPDATE 3/29/2010: I just received the physical Madeleine Bloom CD in the mail...straight from Berlin Germany and signed by Madeleine herself. I'm listening to it as if it were the first time. Track 7 (In Unison) signals the most progression in music (arrangement and composition) I've heard in a very long time. I think this track represents where music is going. Other artist will be writing and producing songs like this in the next couple of years. By then, Madeleine will be conceptualizing music that will mark the next progression.